Monday, December 25, 2006

A peek into my home on Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve at the Taylor house.

I hope you had a beautiful day today.


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Holidays!

Today is Christmas Eve. Many of you will be celebrating with your families today/tonight. Others will be waking up at the crack of dawn when the kids come squealing into the family room ready to shred that brightly colored paper and get to business. There are those too who will be traveling miles and miles to spend this day or tomorrow with family who lives in another state or country. Where ever and when ever you celebrate have a wonderful and Happy Holiday with those you love.

I am looking forward to a Wonderful New Year with all of you!

If you would like to know where to buy the trees featured above go to

There are beautiful pillows, Table runners etc for really great pricing! I am not affiliated with this company in any way, I thought you might enjoy it.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Ideas for the Holiday Parties

Decorate on the Cheap with Everyday Items From "Real Simple" Magazine
New uses for wine glasses, picture frames, ribbon...

Planter as Table
Original Use: Potting petunias.Aha! Use: Serving as an occasional table. Bring your planter inside when the season is over, top it with a piece of glass, and enlist it at winter gatherings to hold cocktails or light up a dark corner.Reward: Beauty that is also useful — and requires no weeding or watering. Photo by Jim Franco

Use Wine Glass as Candle Holder
Original Purpose: Toasting to health and good cheer. Aha! Use: Casting romantic shadows at the dinner table. Place a votive candle in a thick-walled glass, anchored in a bed of sand or small pebbles (it makes wax cleanup a snap).Reward: Lighting that actually goes with your table-ware, unlike those circa-1984 brass candlesticks. Photo by Formula Z/S

Use Toothbrush Holder as a Flower Vase
Original Purpose: Separating his Oral-B from your Reach.Aha! Use: Holding individual flowers. Fill the holder with water, cut the stems so the blooms are a few inches above the top, and slide one into each slot. Reward: Fast, symmetrical arrange-ments, even if you’re all thumbs.Photo BY Andrew McCaul

Upgrade a Lampshade with Ribbon
Original Purpose: Giving ponytails a girly touch. Aha! Use: Lampshade trim. Apply a thin layer of Elmer's or fabric glue (roughly the ribbon's width) to the top edge of the shade. Place the ribbon along the edge of the shade and press the ends (cut on a diagonal) together tightly. Repeat on bottom. Reward: A new way to see the light. Photo By Antonis Achilleos

Tie Up Gifts with Ponytail Holders
Original Purpose: Dealing with bed head when there’s no time for a wash-and-dry.Aha! Use: Sealing up gifts with a twist of the wrist.Reward: Your presents present well without your having to master the fine art of bow tying. Plus, this “bow” can be recycled to keep Heidi’s braids from unraveling. Photo By Monica Buck

I have a link to the Web Page for Real Simple in the left Margin of the blog. If you want to see any more ideas, just click on it. I thought these were easy and most of us have the items lurking in a closet somehwere. Enjoy,

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Wonderful Finds

Make sure that you stop in next week. Kim, Sheila and I are going to show you our "Favorite Things". I am going to steal a page from Oprah. Promise, you'll love them as much as we do, maybe more.

We'll be including Bedding, Furniture, Accessories, Soft warm wraps and much more....stop in!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Recycled Glass Tile

I absolutely LOVE glass tile in homes. It has come a very long way from where it was just a few years ago. Your options are endless and the looks are out of this world gorgeous. Specifying glass tile for a client always get my heart rate up. Not only is it an exciting accent for your home but you'll also find it to be a great conversational piece. You can apply glass tile to a backsplash, the face of a bar, the face of your stairs, a large wall....the options are endless. If you are considering tiling anywhere in your home, please read this before you start. This is not only a beautiful way to accent your home but it is environmentally friendly too. Let me know what you think of this.
HGTVPro has a great video series. This is taken from one of their Interior Finishing series...enjoy

Bathroom and kitchen designs are often the centerpieces of today's homes. Colors, fixtures, lighting, style, and comfort are all critical elements of these often used spaces. For builders hoping to incorporate a unique design while being environmentally responsible, recycled glass tiles can provide the best of both worlds.
While community recycling programs and curbside collection have helped increase the amount of recycling in America today, as much as 70% of all glass still ends up in landfills. Because of the durable nature of glass, it doesn't break down over time in landfills. To reduce landfill waste, recycled glass is used to make "glassphalt" for road surfaces, backfill, and stormwater drainage systems. It's also used to make fiberglass insulation, reflective paint, and decorative tiles. These decorative glass tiles are ideal for builders and homeowners looking for a beautiful, colorful touch and a natural beauty. The translucent surface offers a look not found in other, more common types of tile.
Recycled glass tiles are produced by melting down waste glass in furnaces heated to a temperature exceeding 2000?F. The molten glass is then stamped into shape, hand trimmed, and ground to its finished form. This sort of workmanship gives each tile both a professional finish and a hand-crafted appeal.
The benefits to homeowners who choose recycled glass tile for their backsplash, bathroom floor, or other prominent area of the home are two-fold. First, recycled glass tile is a good way to keep glass products from building up in landfills. In addition to helping conserve the environment, homeowners getting a unique product that adds style to their home. Glass tiles come in a variety of colors and finishes, both matte and glossy, and are a durable way of decorating surfaces. They are easy to take care of too—you can use glass cleaner to care for them.
Glass tiles can be used anywhere normal ceramic tiles would be installed, and they have the added benefit of being resistant to chemicals and stains, which makes them good for areas that are prone to getting wet. They can be installed on floors, walls, countertops, tabletops, among other locations, and they can be used outdoors as well as indoors. Installing glass tiles requires a little more care than installing standard opaque ceramic tiles, and builders should be well aware of these differences to make sure their trades get it right the first time. Here are a few things to think about when installing recycled glass tiles.
In general, recycled glass tile will take more time to install, and greater care must be given to the tiles before they are secured in place.
After applying the coat of thin set, it's important to knock down and smooth the comb marks. If not, these marks will be visible through the glass and will create an unattractive appearance.
When smoothing the thin set, make sure that an even layer of adhesive remains that's deep enough to secure and support the tile.
Using recycled glass tile in a home can be a colorful way for builders to show their commitment to conserving the environment while adding a unique look and feel to their living space.

All of the photos shown on this feature are from Oceanside Glass Tile Company's website.

Located in Carlsbad, California, Oceanside Glasstile has been producing and selling luxury glass tiles since 1992. Our founders began with a vision of integrating creativity with a healthy respect for the art glass tradition. Over a decade later, the passion for turning recycled bottles and raw sand into beautiful and functional glass tile is stronger than ever. The current glass tile operation employs over 220 people and uses 1000 tons of recycled glass each year! In fact, some Oceanside Glasstile products are made of up to 85 percent recycled glass.
The wide array of glass tile created by Oceanside Glasstile can be used in all tile applications. Whether you're designing custom glass tile counters, laying a durable glass tile floor, or putting in a unique tile pool, Oceanside Glasstile has the perfect solution. With a product offering that includes mosaic glass tile and innovative glass tile designs, Oceanside Glasstile is available in more than 300 retail tile showrooms throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Western Europe and Japan.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Create Detail With Color

Don't be afraid of color. In this home I used a palette of 6 colors in this one room. Note the arch around the fireplace, the area inside the arch, the walls are a different color as well. The ceilings were all painted a paler version of the golden green used on the walls...

Another color was used on the columns to the right of the built in bookshelves. The bookshelves are a golden tone where as the columns are a deep olive. Using color to show off archetectural detail will give depth and visual interest to your room.

here you can see how the ceiling color interacts with a slightly richer tone of wall color.
This wall needed some accents but we did not want it to overwhelm the window treatments or the focal point of the fireplace. We kept it simple.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

DIY Paint

Have you seen that commercial with the couple standing in the middle of their empty family room? They are staring at these large, blank, white walls. The husband sighs a heavy sigh and the words "It looks great..." (or something along those lines) and asks the wife..."what do you think?" Her reply is "It looks like we couldn't figure out what color to paint." Brutal but honest.

Are you suffering from White Wall Syndrome? I say to you, heal thyself. Don't be afraid of color on your walls.The worst that can happen is you paint over it. Reality in today's world is not the repaint but the time to repaint right? Maybe I can help you get it right the first time.
There are a lot of Paint manufacturers out there. I am going to reference Behr and Sherwin Williams because most of us know where to go to get either of those brands without having to drive into the next state.

I want to start at the beginning. First things first, don't start with your walls. Start with a fabric or art pallette that you will have in the room. What I mean is if you already have your furniture and it is not going to change in the next 12 months or more, that is where you start. If you are purchasing new furniture then you will need your fabric swatches from the new upholstery. Lay your fabrics all out on the table/ottoman in the room you are wanting to paint. Lay them together and overlapping so that your entire pallette of fabrics will be seen all together with your possible paint selections. Look closely at the fabrics in front of you. Which color is least represented in the group? For example: Note this pair of fabrics....

it looks as though there are not a lot of color options here. Look more closely. I know I do not want a color to match the fabric on the left. That is my sofa and it is a big piece in the room. If I paint the walls to match, my beautiful sofa will disappear. I will be living in a monochromatic cavelike room. I want bright and I want airy feeling. Don't dispair.The swatch to the right has more options. It is the pair of chairs that sit opposite the sofa. Although I LOVE the blue tones in the fabric I don't want to live in a blue room. Bright and airy is my wish but in addition I want warm and inviting. Besides, if I paint the walls blue, my chairs will not feel as significant as I want them to be. I want this fabric to be conversational. So, beige? Am I stuck with beige walls? No. Look more closely, what color is LEAST represented in this fabric? It's a golden hued taupe. I like it. this color is warm like the sofa I love and it will allow the blue colors to really make a statement in my room. Choose a paint color that will allow your furniture to come to life. Am I making sense? To bring life to my big chocolate sofa I am going to add pillows that bring the chairs over. My drapes are going to be a beautiful slate blue mingled with teal and a drop of chocolate. A strong contrast against the taupe hued walls. Exactly what we were looking for!

Need another example? Okay, lets go with a more traditional scheme....

Our dominant color here is our "Brick" color. Automatically I know brick will not be my wall color. Remember, we want our fabrics to pop. How about gold?....well there is an awfully lot of it. I like gold. Will that enhance my fabrics or cause them to blend? ...I am thinking, it won't look bad, it will definitely be a safe choice, but I want more than safe. I want "WOW" I want "panache". What are my other choices? Looking closely at the fabric on the left there is a very subtle hue of olive in the Tapestry. Olive, yuck, I really dislike green. Besides, won't it feel like Christmas? No. It will not feel like Christmas unless you adorn everything with lights and glass ornaments. So, green isn't a color of choice. Let me ask this question....Do you love your fabrics? Do you love your upholstery pieces? Don't you want them to come to life the way you imagined they could. Olive is the answer. Not a dark overwhelming color. Keep it light-not pastel- light. The fabric to the right is a mingled chenille and has a tiny hint of olive running through it as well. WOW that olive really makes this one POP. Use the fabric to find the right hue. Don't try to guess it. If you can't take your fabric with you to the paint store then grab every swatch of "olivey green" you can find. Bring them home and lay them out on your fabrics. The color will choose itself. You won't have to guess.

Now, inspite of all of this, you are still a Designer. Ask them for a simple paint consultation. Most designers offer this service. Isn't it worth the consult fee? Time is money, if you have limited time, spend the money. If you call a designer and it isn't something they offer, you wouldn't want to work with them anyway. They are after the High end dollar and don't have time for paint chips with a do it yourselfer. Don't take it personal, just go to the next name in the yellow pages.
I am including a link to SW and Behr for you. They offer a program online where you can "try on" color combos before you start. It can give you a feeling for your color before you leap. It won't be exact because color will change in your own lighting. Swatches are the way to go. If you buy a sample jar and paint a small swatch on your wall, you could still be misled. Imagine a huge white wall with a tiny square of color. Your color will be intensified by all of the white. Keep an open mind. Still cannot decide? Call that Designer I told you about.

Best of luck, any questions or a need for clarification, just ask.

Thanks for stopping in,

Diana Taylor

Monday, December 11, 2006

Interior Design for Dollar Conscious Homeowners

It is always exciting to meet a potential new client. Sharing ideas on how to get a great look and how we can best stretch the dollars is what keeps it exciting. Each time I am meeting with a client for an initial consultation I see an opportunity to help them create the "Home of Their Dreams". Creating the home of your dreams does not mean you have to live in a multi million dollar neighborhood and it doesn't mean you have to live in a multi million dollar house. Not even a half million dollar house. When we can take a house and turn it into a home, we have accomplished far more than a pretty sofa and a workable wall color.

Seeing the personality of each client come to life in their surroundings is what a successful Home Plan can do. For you that means your likes, your loves, your needs and your dreams wrapping themselves around you every time you cross the threshold of your door. Your home is your sanctuary, treat it that way. You can live in a house that is the same floor plan as 20 other homes in your neighborhood. That does not mean you should all have the same interior. It should be all your own. It should be all you. I have never duplicated a look for any two clients. If I did, I would not be doing what I am hired to do. I would be selling myself and my client short.

I hope to help you find a way to fill your house with the ideas and the furnishings that will make it Your Dream Home. If you like do it yourself projects then I can help you achieve a huge look for small dollars. The photos I have included in this blog are prime examples. This entry is mainly focused on Ready Made Drapes with what I call a Custom Touch. This means you can purchase your drapes, your hardware and any needed "added touches" at your local Home store. Be it Linen n Things, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target or Tuesday Morning. Yes, Tuesday Morning. Excellent resource for spending little dollars to get a big bang. For example, the drapes featured in this photograph....we spent a total of $443.00 plus tax. The drapes are Red Silk(lined) panels from Home Depot Expo. We bought them on sale for $80.00 per panel. The "Hardware" are simple coat hooks from Target. We wanted black "iron" hardware. The hooks, $5.00 each, were all different colors so I went crazy on a $3 can of black matte spray paint. The rings we used to hang the drapes from the hooks were qty.10 to a bag for $10 per bag. They were so easy, all we had to do was "clip" them onto the drape. This whole project took more time to shop for than it took to make/install. (helpful hint, preshop/shop online for most of these items)Great look for little money.

I realize for some of you $443.00 is a lot of money. Keep in mind, these were silk and they were lined. If I had designed these from scratch, I would not even have been able to find the fabric yardage needed for $443.00.

There are other ways to save too. This next treatment cost a little less. The hardware was from LnT or BB&Beyond. I cannot remember. (Always keep those coupons you get in the mail and newspaper). They will accept each other's coupons, they will accept expired coupons and you can use up to 9 coupons per purchase. So, if you purchase 14 items in one shopping event, 9 of those items are allowed a coupon to be applied at purchase.

The process here was 6 foot rod cut in half. 2 pairs of finials, 2 pairs of brackets and 2 sets of rings. Each item was allowed a 20% off coupon total= $136.00 plus tax. Our panels were from Tuesday Morning. They were $19.99 each. Our dilemma here was that the panels were not long enough. The texture was right, the pattern was right and the color was perfect. We went to a discount fabric house and found 3 yards of fabric to add for about $24. We added 18"to the top and the bottom of the existing panels.The trim we also found at Tuesday Morning -6 yards for $9.99. The fabrics were attached to each other with hot glue and the trim was then hot glued over the seam. Voila-beautiful formal dining room drapes for just over $300.00. The rings were stitched right to the top edge of the panels with nothing more than a button stitch. If I had ordered this treatment custom,meaning ordering the yardage, the trim, and labor for creating them it would have cost my client $480.00 just for the fabric yardage, apprx. $112.00 for labor, plus liner costs, plus trim costs, plus custom hardware. Do you see where this is going? This window would probably cost her about $1500.00 to have them made on the "custom" level. We saved a lot of money here so that she could invest her dollars where she needed them most. Inexpensive Windows that look elegant and beautiful are part of the bow on the package. There are times when you should spend the money on custom draperies. There are some rooms that demand custom treatments. When it is necessary, please, make the investment.

You need "good bones" to begin with (or a plan for replacing the worn out pieces as you go). Work with a good Designer. Don't go into your Home Plan with the idea that you are going to do your entire home "on the cheap". Enter into this with the idea that you are going to create a beautiful home while staying within your price range. A good and honest Designer will be straight with you and tell you where the bulk of your dollars should be spent and where you can save by either doing things yourself (within reason) or shopping at the right stores for the right accessories to finish off your beautiful look. With that said, if you tell your designer you want to decorate your Family Room, Dining Room and Master Bedroom(meaning furniture, draperies, paint,bedding, accessories, etc) for $1000.00 do not be shocked when she/he laughs uproariously. I say you can work within a price range but you as the Home Owner need to be realistic on just how loudly we can make the old Geroge Washington scream. $1000.00 for three rooms top to bottom is unrealistic in anyone's book.

Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions. Working with a designer does not mean you will have to go over your price range. As a matter of fact, working with a Designer should help you stay within your expectations or close to it. If you are like most of us you have Champagne taste and beer budget. Don't let that scare you. Your Designer should help you create a "Home Plan" that will allow you to move forward at a pace that fits your price point. This way, you choose and prioritize what to start with first. Once those things are in your home and you are ready to go forward with the next phase, it's already planned out. All you'll have to do then is purchase your next phase. It's like washing your hair- repeat until done.

In case you were wondering what I meant by the term "good bones".This room is a great example of "good bones". The furniture was pre-existing. This is mid stage through the design process. This client wanted custom bedding and custom drapes. She wanted a more contemporary look but owned very traditional furniture. This photo was taken after the bedding, new window treatment and recovered chair were delivered. Her next phase will be accessorizing. Because we are working in steps to fit her Price Range, acessories will be completed in a few months. She understands the design plan and knows exactly what will be happening next. A good home plan will help to keep you focused and a little more patient with the whole process.
If you have questions about how to find the right designer for you please ask me, I'll try to help. If you are already working with a Designer but are not sure how the process should work, ask me. Again, I'll try to help. No question is dumb and no question should go unasked. I hope to share ideas on this blog for anyone wanting information on Home Projects. I also hope to enlighten people on how to best work with a Designer so that you too can afford your beautiful Dream Home.
Thanks for stopping in and remember, any questions....just ask.

Diana Taylor
Taylor Haskins Design Studio